SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Teachers across KELOLAND are preparing for their students to return. Part of back-to-school prepping is of course buying supplies and materials for the classroom. A Sioux Falls organization is doing its part to provide teachers with free books.
More than a hundred teachers from across South Dakota have stopped by Reach Literacy to take advantage of the Walk-in Teacher Grant.
“It makes me feel so excited,” said Thea Oman, 4th-grade teacher at Oscar Howe.
Thea Oman is starting her first year of teaching at Oscar Howe. When she heard about this event, she decided to take advantage of the program.
“It kind of comes from your own pocket and your own resources. Luckily, I’ve been saving things up because I knew I wanted to be a teacher for a long time. But, um, resources like this really helped me get things that I know that my kids would like versus just the necessities that I know that I need,” Oman said.
Each teacher can fill their bag with 25 free books.
Executive Director Paige Carda says they have given out thousands of donated books over the last two days.
“I think it’s great. We know how hard teachers work are we know how demanding that can be. So if we can offset in that in any way we’re going to,” Carda said.
Which helps teachers at all stages of their careers continue to build their classroom libraries…
“Every year I get new kiddos. So being able to find things that they like is very helpful to build my library and continue to keep it of interest for my kids,” said Hannah Swanson, Alcester Hudson, ESL and Special Education.
“It’s nice just having something like this where it’s just you know, free to the community, free for teachers to go in and find stuff and it’s just another support that’s there for us, so it’s nice,” said Tony Jensen, Harrisburg South Middle School.
And provide new material for incoming students.
“I love reading and I want to instill that in my students and having a variety of books like of all genres is really going to help me find something that all my students want to read and are interested in,” said Thea Oman, Oscar Howe, 4th grade.
Reach Literacy will also be hosting a book giveaway for homeschool teachers tomorrow. This is their newest addition to the Walk-In Teacher Grants.
Carda says they will continue accepting donations for books.